Dallas to review city’s response to deadly plane crash at airshow

Dallas will conduct an independent review of the city’s response to the deadly November air crash that killed six people at Dallas Executive Airport.

The city said it would hire Virginia-based emergency management firm The Olson Group, Ltd. to conduct the review, which could take four to six months, said Dallas Aviation Department acting director Patrick Carreno.

“Every time something like this happens, we want to be able to review it and learn from what happened,” Carreno said of the mid-air crash that occurred on November 12 during the Wings Over Dallas airshow. The city routinely conducts reviews, called action reports, of its responses to major incidents, such as when police arrested more than 600 protesters on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in June 2020 or when historic rains flooded the streets of Dallas last summer. But these reviews are usually conducted within the lead department.

Sometimes an outside group is also brought in to review, such as when a former IT employee deleted millions of archived police files in 2021.

Carreno estimates that the external review contract, which is still in the procurement process, will cost between $25,000 and $30,000. The aviation department expects to publicly present at least a summary of the findings to the city council in the spring, he said.

The collision between two historic aircraft is still under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. On November 30, the federal agency released a four-page preliminary report that did not list the cause of the crash, but noted that the pilots involved did not have briefings to coordinate their altitude before they were airborne or in flight.

A memo sent Friday to Dallas City Council members said such briefings are commonplace.

“Altitude conflict resolution procedures are often established and briefed in case pilots find themselves at the wrong altitude during a flight,” wrote Deputy City Manager Kimberly Beazor Tolbert.

She also said the external review would identify improvements the city’s aviation department could make in response to the accident, as well as “provide an overall overview with recommendations to support the department’s resilience and ability to respond, manage and recover from future airbase incidents.” Airports.

The Aviation Department oversees Dallas Love Field, the Dallas Executive Airport, and the Dallas Helipad downtown.

According to an NTSB preliminary report, a Bell P-63 Kingcobra was turning left when it collided with a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, killing five B-17 occupants and the P-63 pilot.

According to the report, the P-63 was the third of three aircraft in the same formation at the time of the crash, with the B-17 leading a separate formation of five ships.

Radio transmissions from the scene show that an air show official who communicates flight plans told aircraft flying in the P-63 formation to fly in front of the B-17 formation and on a line that was about 500 feet from the audience’s viewing position, the report said. The other formation was ordered to fly 1,000 feet from the spectator area.

The report states that the navigation device on the P-63 was not recording during the flight. The final NTSB report may be published between the end of 2023 and the first half of 2024.

Flight safety specialists told about it. Dallas Morning News in November, videos from the crash site appear to show that the cause of the crash was likely human error, but it is not clear if this error was made by one of the pilots, someone assigned to communicate with the planes, or someone also participating in the preparations for the air show. .

The Air Force Commemorative, which hosted the Veterans Day show Wings Over Dallas, identified the dead as Terry Barker, Craig Hutane, Kevin Michels, Dan Ragan, Len Root, and Kurt Rowe. No one on earth was hurt or killed.

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